Porlwi by Trash. Or not!

Mauritius lacks entertainment for the population. Porlwi by light is an awesome event. It’s like living in a magic world for few hours.

However,  like any large human gathering,  trash is left all over the place.

Some people have posted on social media that the Porlwi by light organisers are somewhat incompetent people who did not cater to clean the streets after the people. Seriously?

Before criticising the organizers,  can they organise such an event by themselves? I guess  some of them can’t even change a light bulb in their bathroom; forget about even making 1 art piece.

I can’t organise such an event on my own. But not throwing trash on the streets is definitely in my list of competence.

Please please. I want this festival to continue. Let’s be civilised people. Everyone play their part, we shall all be winners 😉

If you want the festival to continue too, do share this article with your friends

5 Items to take when Hiking to Les 7 Cascades, Mauritius

Hiking is a very physical activity which can be hard but very much rewarding.

Watch as many videos as you want. Nothing can come close to as ‘living the moment’ yourself.

An unplanned hiking can easily spoil your whole experience. Here’s why I decided to write about the items needed for a nice hiking experience.

Items To Take

The order in which the items are listed do not reflect their respective importance. All of the items listed below are of equal importance.

1. Water

The very strict minimum is 1 litre per person. Juices do NOT count as water.

2. Back bag

Where are we going keep our precious bottle of water? In our hands? Nope! Hiking is NOT jogging on a track. You’ll need your hands to be free all the time

3. Light lunch

Hikings are not a feast. Biryani-like types of lunch are not recommended. You’ll want something light, easy to carry, easy to consume while listening to the water falling and admiring the view. Don’t overcomplicate your own lives 😉

4. First Aid Kit

Mishaps can and will happen. No denial in that. It’s part of the thrill actually. However,  we need to take maximum precautions so that no one gets hurt. A first aid kit is necessary.

5. Shoes

Forget about Sandals and high-heels. We need high-gripping shoes to be able to cope with sandy soil, hard soil, dry rocks, wet rocks, algae covered rocks etc.

6. Optionals

6.1 juices/fruits: for quick energy

6.2 Cameras

Do take pics for your own personal records and social networks. But but…

Don’t spend all your time watching through your 2 inch screen. Look up! The view is much more amazing. 4K is nothing compared to what our eyes can see.

Items NOT to take

Everything not listed above is unnecessary and will add weight to carry and can make your hiking experience unnecessarily painful. Before adding anything in my bag, I think whether the items will eventually get consumed or not? At the beginning of the hike, you’ll have the most amount of energy. You can carry a heavy bag. As you progress, your energy level will decrease. The more difficult it will be to carry a heavier bag. Basically you want a situation like this:

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-12-10-13-pm

Ok. Here’s the non-exhaustive list:

  • Makeups: Eye liners, Foundation. Really no need for these. A smiling face is prettier than uhm…everything.
  • Sunscreen: Apply beforehand. No need to add a bottle of 400grams in your bag which will not get used up completely.

Want to go Hiking at Les 7 Cascades but don’t know how to proceed?

Feel free to contact me for if you need an experienced guide.

Changes to Road Traffic Act Mauritius

According to L’express, today the Ministers were supposed to discuss about changes to Road Traffic Act: Amendements à la Road Traffic Act: ce que risquent les chauffards

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The article states:

“Conduite dangereuse entraînant la mort

Un individu qui a causé la mort d’une personne en se rendant coupable de conduite dangereuse sera passible, après condamnation, d’une amende variant entre Rs 25 000 et Rs 50 000 et d’une peine d’emprisonnement ne dépassant pas cinq ans.Actuellement, l’emprisonnement maximal est de trois ans pour ce délit…

Conduite imprudente en état d’ivresse

Un conducteur reconnu coupable d’avoir causé la mort d’une autre personne alors qu’il était en état d’ivresse sera passible d’une peine d’emprisonnement de cinq ans au maximum, au lieu de trois ans.”

Dunno actual the benefits caused by keeping someone in jail for 2 more years on the expense of Mauritian tax payers.

“En cas d’accident

Jusqu’à présent, le conducteur impliqué dans un accident a quatre heures pour le rapporter à la police. Ce délai sera ramené à une heure.”

Hmm. Purpose?

Le rôle d’un magistrat

Un magistrat aura désormais la possibilité de suspendre le permis d’un conducteur arrêté avec un taux d’alcool au-dessus de la limite autorisée, à la demande de la police et avant même qu’il ait été reconnu coupable en cour.

What? Can’t understand anything. What’s the difference between “reconnu coupable” and having higher alcohol level in blood? Either you broke the law or you did not. WTF?

Anyways, forget the Ministers and their shows. What do YOU think will really reduce accident on Mauritian roads?

My thoughts:

  • Replace roundabouts by flyovers. Might cost a lot but much less than what the ministers spend abroad in 1 year alone.
  • Add more reflective road markings.
  • Remove humps on the roads to reduce stress fir drivers.
  • Add more speed cameras but increase the speed limit so as to still make it drivable. Some places the speed limit is at 60km/h for no reason despite the car naturally wants to go at 80km/h.

 

Trump Wins. Make USA great again. Let Planet earth live in peace.

I didn’t want Trump to win the election. Just wanted Hilary Clinton to lose. She been in duty for so long. What has she achieved? Well, lots of death in the middle east countries.

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Trump might have used a very unconventional campaign but I think he did whatever in his power to get heard. I hope he will now make peace with all countries in the world most importantly Russia. He’s stance towards China might be a bit harsh but what can he do? He wants to compete with them in terms of manufacturing. Not nuke them up.

Anyways, hoping for the best. Peace

Internet of Things (IoT) in Mauritius, lemme just do it!

iotarch

I reach home from work when it’s already dark. I got to park my car in front of my house. I said to myself wouldn’t it be awesome if I could light up the house exterior light using my mobile phone? I bought some WiFI enabled switches from the internet and installed it. Here’s a diagram of the installation.

iotarch

‘All iz well’ except for 1 problem. Nayar’s highness has stop his car, unlock his phone, launch an app, press the LIGHT ON button, then reverse his car. Nayar is not happy!!!

So I had to make a system such that whenever Nayar reaches home, the exterior lights up automatically? Makes sense right? How did I achieve this? Simple but not so simple.

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The Wireless Switch was vendor locked in; meaning it works with their cloud service and Android/iOS app. It doesn’t give me the flexibility for I need. Had to do the following steps in order to be free:

  1. Flash an Arduino firmware (from github) to the wireless switch.
  2. Create a home automation server on a raspberry pi (which I dropped in favour of cloud hosting)
  3. Create an Android app which whenever I connect to my home WiFi, I sends the TURN ON lights on

After lots of research and development, trial and error, it finally worked 😀


Is it over? Nope. Who’s gonna turn off the lights when I enter home? Ofcourse I put a 3 minutes timer in it 😛

And the Laziest Award 2016 goes to?

Coming soon. Very soon:

  • Control garage doors (R&D stage)
  • Temperature and humidity sensors (prototype stage)
  • Get status of windows/doors status: open or closed (R&D stage)
  • Home Camera Surveillance (waiting for materials)
  • Smart TVs integration (prototype stage)
  • Solar Water Tank monitoring and control inflows (R&D stage)

Wanna get into the world of Home Automation too? Wanna turn on your coffee machine from your bed and more? Feel free to contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

The New MCB Internet Banking Website 2016

After logging in through the usual Internet Banking link, I was asked to choose a new password after which I was in the new web interface.

mcb1

It definitely looks better than the previous interface which had a long long menu bar. It feels very light and minimalist.

mcb2

However I am still facing a hard time accessing my Prepaid Card dashboard that is still dependent on flash; meaning it can’t be used on Macs and Linux unless you have flash plugin installed.

How did you find the new internet banking portal? How is it compared to other internet banking in Mauritius like SBM or HSBC etc?

Attending Front-End Mauritius Meetup July 2016

“A reasonable coding approach to CSS and Sass”

Umar presented some of the “best practices” in the CSS universe; some of which stirred some religious debate e.g. the usage of 2 spaces vs Tabs for indentation. Yusuf, a backend PHP developer, pointed out that in the PHP community, the latter have coding standards known as PSR (PHP Standards Recommendations) which is widely accepted. CSS does not have such widely accepted standards. However attempts are being made have to formalize the standards as David mentioned. I forgot the github name of the project.

Anyways, I am of the opinion that if you are following a coding standard, try to stick to it after deciding on which standards you and your team are going to use.

Another point which I remember is to NOT use CSS #Id Selectors and it makes total sense. The reason is pretty simple to me. Good programmers write code in order to cater for most scenarios. Ids can be used only once on a page. Let’s take for example a “single post page” in a blog. You know very well that only 1 post is going to be displayed on a page

#post {
  background-color: red;
}

<body>
 <article id="post">
 </article> 
</body>

vs

.post {
  background-color: red;
}

<body>
 <article class="post" id="post-15">
 </article> 
</body>

Why you should opt for the second option is that when you have to write the front-end for search page etc, you can just use the class .post without problems as many articles can appear. But during the meetup, maybe I should be replacing the post id using -data* stuffs. Gotta read more on this.

What to remember here is, never ever use # in CSS unless working with form input as per what Sundeep said.

“Vue.js Jumpstart”

Humeira introduced us about Vue.js. I used it previously. Simply love the simplicity and the level of laziness it allows developers to have. However Vue.js is a relatively new technology and I guess it’s pretty normal for big corporations to not use it in production at the moment. As time goes by, I hope Vue.js really takes off in terms of popularity thus gaining stability.

Vue.js, to me, is awesome because it allows me to concentrate on the logic of data objects  in JavaScript and I don’t have to care about the UI views. I know it would simply update itself to reflect the state of my JavaScript object. I just love declarative type UIs.

“Le futur, c’est maintenant avec CSS4”

David explained the differences between a CSS preprocessor and CSS postprocessor. Maybe I might not have yet fully grasped the differences right now but from what I can understood, preprocessors convert .sass or .less to .css. Postprocessors take plain .css augmented with new unsupported attributes by browsers and compiles it into plain .css which are supported by most browsers. Anyways, I think this topic is too advanced for me right now.

Conclusion

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Photo stolen from David

Much more happened at the meetup but this writeup is all about what struck me personally. I’d recommend you to attend future meetups so as to be able take part in the interesting debates and be up-to-date with latest front-end techs 😉

Let Mauritian people afford new Tyres for less accidents!

Foreach Rs 2000 I earn over 21,923, Rs 300 will be deducted under the PAYE system [1]. The remaining Rs 1750,  Net Payment, which will be credited into my bank account. Should I decide to purchase let’s say 1 tyre for my car at Rs 1200 + VAT/Tax. I need to pay Rs 1380 (Rs 180 as VAT/Tax). But wait! Is that it?

img_20160420_090844.jpg

Let’s see what the the MRA website says about Tyres [2].

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 9.55.09 PM

What do I see there? There was already a 30% duty/custom charges on it. Meaning about Rs 277 was already Taxed upon it by Government.

In order to change 4 tyres on my car, I need to work for a whopping Rs 6494. PAYE will cut Rs 975 on my salary slip. I will pay 15% VAT for 4 tyres totaling Rs 720. 30% Duty/Custom Charges totaling Rs 1107. In reality, It would have costed only Rs 3692.

Do you find it OK to have to work for Rs 6494 to buy things which are priced at Rs 3692. And that thing happens to be primordial for road safety?

And it’s not over. I need to pay Rs 3500 yearly as Road Tax. Meaning I need to earn Rs 4117 (15% PAYE). Rs 1200 fitness for twice a year, need to work for Rs 1412. Not counting yearly insurance, levy on fuel and so on.

Hey Mr the Government. Instead of putting bullshit policies around, let the common people use their hard earned money to maintain their cars properly instead of paying you to use shitty roads. Buying new tyres is NOT a crime but rather should be encouraged for safer roads.

BTW, there is a petition to remove Custom Charges on new cars which have engines less than 1600 cc. Please sign here: https://www.change.org/p/mvda-pour-la-suppression-de-l-excise-duty-pour-les-v%C3%A9hicules-de-moins-de-1600cc

NOTE: I am not a financial expert. I am just a citizen of Mauritius browsing the internet.

[1] www.mra.mu/index.php/employers/paye

[2] http://www.mra.mu/index.php/importexport-a-others/travellers/88-customs-charges

 

 

 

Anil Bachoo vs Anil Gayan

Anil Bachoo vs Anil Gayan

One thing that stroke me in this post in this:

“I believe these people are governing from their comfortable office and cars far from the reality of our society.” – Anil Bachoo

Well Mr Anil Bachoo, you’re completely right about this. I guess you lots of experience in this field right? huh!

What did you do when National Transport Corporation was reporting “losses”? Instead of finding the root of the problem and find solutions, you just increased bus fare for “ti-dimounes” by Rs 2 for each travel while you continue to drive in your BMW with police escorts.

It’s really hard to compare whether the current government is shitter than the previous one. I don’t want this aging,money-minded fleet of politicians to tell us what to do. I’m fed up of you all MSM, MMM, PTR, PMSD et al.